By David Wayne

When going to a fine restaurant, most of us, including myself, would agree that there are two things that we look for in a dining experience. One is great food, the other is great service. Sammy G’S Tuscan Grill in downtown Palm Springs has both. However, they also add great atmosphere and amazing entertainment. Randyn Seymon was singing and playing guitar to some awesome classics the night we were there and every night has different entertainers.

My wife and I (whom my children cleverly named my sidekick “side dish”) got seated inside in the most comfortable booth I have every sat in at a restaurant. They do have a nice patio area, but in the booth we were as comfortable as if we were at home on our couch. We were immediately greeted by our waiter Bruce. By the time he told us about the specials, we had water and Baguette bread, with the tastiest olive Tapenade, which is a medley of olives, capers, extra virgin olive oil, fresh garlic and Italian herbs, with a kick of crushed red pepper. It was obvious right away that executive chef Sal Zavala Sr. knows what he is doing.

We started by sharing two appetizers: Calamari and Shrimp Scampi. Calamari is fried squid, fresh with lemon, lightly breaded, with a spicy tomato sauce on the side. The Shrimp Scampi was sautéed in olive oil, lemon, garlic, chile flakes, parsley, and Pinot Grigio wine. Alex, Chef Sal’s nephew, whisked away our appetizer plates just as Bruce came back to check on us and take our entree orders. But first he recommended we have a salad, and we are glad we did. We decided on a Southwest “Broken” Crostini salad; a crunchy tossed salad with blackened chicken, tomato, avocado, bacon, roasted corn, black beans, red onion, and honey mustard dressing. They split it for us, and it was one of the best dishes of the evening.

My wife ordered Hawaiian Sea Bass, which was a special that evening. A fresh wild Sea Bass called Escolar; grilled picante style in white wine, extra virgin olive oil, fresh lemon and capers. It was accompanied with fresh sautéed green beans, steamed baby asparagus spears, roasted fingerling and red potatoes. She enjoyed it so much she only shared one tiny bite. I had the Chicken Parmigiana: free-range, boneless, skinless, chicken breast, hormone free, pounded thin and covered in Panko bread crumbs, flash fried in canola oil, ladled with house marinara, with fresh garlic and Italian herbs, with mozzarella cheese melted on top. It was served with Linguine Bolognese made with the finest cuts of beef and sided with pork meatballs. It was so big, I could only eat half, and I can eat a lot. With dinner my wife had a glass of very pleasant and a bit oakey Pacific Bay Cabernet Sauvignon. While we were eating our delicious Blueberry Cheesecake and Tiramisu, Bruce recommended the Amalie Lemondrop with Burnett’s Citrus Vodka, fresh lemon juice, and a splash of Caravella Limoncello. My wife loved it! We were getting up to leave, and Bruce said, “Oh no, we still have a surprise for you!” He brought us complimentary Amaretto with homemade biscotti to top things off; as if we needed topping off, but it was a delightful last touch.

Sammy G’s is open seven days a week at: 265 S. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs
Sunday thru Thursday 4:00 to 1:00 Friday and Saturday 4:00 to 2:00
Call for a reservation at: 760-320-8041

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